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Garda strike threat cannot be tolerated

I AGREE with Olivia O’Sullivan (Letters, December 8) when she says we expect the gardaí “to be there for us whenever we or our properties are under threat”. That is their job, to which they freely and willingly signed up.

But to say “their livelihood is under threat” is ridiculous. Not one garda is expected to join the dole queues of more than 400,000 in the near or distant future.

Yes, they should face the full rigours of the law if they strike against the essential government cutbacks we all have to face because they would be breaking the very law they have sworn to uphold.

The state is facing unprecedented fiscal challenges to its very survival, to which strike action in general is a direct threat. Added to this, strike action by gardaí would be a stake through the heart of the state and its constitution because they would thereby place themselves above the law.

I have far too much respect for the general body of our garda force to believe they will follow the lead of the GRA on this issue.

PJ Stone may lead some of his men and women up the hill, but in the interests of the state and its democracy, he will be required to march them back down again.

James McGrath



Co Tipperary


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